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Yet people in the drone program know that co-workers involved in enhanced interrogation had these assurances as well. And the drone program has some distinctive characteristics.
Instead of employing waterboarding, stress positions and sleep deprivation, the targets are killed sometimes with collateral damage to the innocent. Some may argue a subtle moral distinction between harshly interrogating a terrorist and blowing his limbs apart.
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But international human rights groups and legal authorities generally look down on both. The main difference? A few years from now, a new president and new congressional leaders may take a different view.
At the CIA, these concerns are not hypothetical. What if the next president, [say] Rand Paul or Elizabeth Warren, comes after people involved in this program? We think about that all the time. This is the scrutiny that comes only with success. V-E Day, after all, partially resulted from the firebombing of Dresden. V-J Day encompassed Hiroshima. Both involved tickertape parades and incinerated children. The U. Political leaders, once again, urge intelligence officials to do what is necessary. So the Feinstein report comes in the middle of a war, targeting many Americans who are still engaged in it.
It is an act of exceptional congressional recklessness. Democratic senators on the Intelligence Committee interviewed none of the key figures in the program, yet fought for months to make it easier to identify the targets of their report. Mark Udall D-Colo.
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Dianne Feinstein D-Calif. But her legacy is a massive dump of intelligence details useful to the enemy in a time of war. And she knows the likely results.
Secretary of State John Kerry expressed the concerns of allies about increased violence. A National Intelligence Council report warned of threats to embassies, installations and individuals, and explored how partners would react to the disclosure. So why has Feinstein donned her Guy Fawkes mask? Tension with the CIA? Simple stubbornness?
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The main reason, I suspect, is different. Democrats who approved of enhanced interrogation at the time such as Feinstein must now construct an elaborate fantasy world in which they were not knowledgeable and supportive.
They postulate a new reality in which they were innocent and deceived — requiring a conspiracy from three former CIA directors, three former deputy directors and hundreds of others. Occam would indicate a different answer: guilt, hypocrisy and betrayal.
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Partisan torture report fails America Intelligence agencies need guidance to do better, Senate Democrats failed to provide it. I regret having to write a piece that is critical of the Democratic members of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence. Most of them are former colleagues and friends.
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I hope they will remain friends after reading this. For eight years I served on this committee. Thanks to the and efforts of Senator John McCain I do not have to wait to be certain our interrogation policies and procedures are aligned with our core values. The enemy does not have an easy to identify and analyze military.
In the war against global jihadism, human intelligence and interrogation have become more important, and I worry that the partisan nature of this report could make this kind of collection more difficult. I do not need to read the report to know that the Democratic staff alone wrote it. The Republicans checked out early when they determined that their counterparts started out with the premise that the CIA was guilty and then worked to prove it.
This committee departed from that high road and slipped into the same partisan mode that marks most of what happens on Capitol Hill these days. In both cases we were very critical of the practices of the intelligence agencies. In both cases we avoided partisan pressure to blame the opposing party. In both cases Congress made statutory changes and the agencies changed their policies. In both of these efforts the committee staff examined documents and interviewed all of the individuals involved. Their rationale — that some officers were under investigation and could not be made available — is not persuasive.
Most officers were never under investigation and for those who were, the process ended by Fairness should dictate that the examination of documents alone do not eliminate the need for interviews conducted by the investigators. Isolated emails, memos and transcripts can look much different when there is no context or perspective provided by those who sent, received or recorded them. It is important for all of us to remember how unprepared we were for the attacks of September 11, and how unprepared we were to do the things necessary to keep the country from being attacked again.
There was no operating manual to guide the choices and decisions made by the men and women in charge of protecting us. I will continue to read the report to learn of the mistakes we apparently made. I do not need to read the report in full to know this: We have not been attacked since and for that I am very grateful.
It is important for all of us to not let Congress dodge responsibility. Congressional oversight of intelligence is notoriously weak. The worse consequence of a partisan report can be seen in this disturbing fact: It contains no recommendations. This is perhaps the most significant missed opportunity, because no one would claim the program was perfect or without its problems. But equally, no one with real experience would claim it was the completely ineffective and superfluous effort this report alleges. Our intelligence personnel — who are once again on the front lines fighting the Islamic State — need recommended guidance from their board of governors: The U.
Remarkably this report contains none. I hope — for the sake of our security and our values — Congress will follow the leadership of Senator McCain and give them this guidance. Bob Kerrey, former governor of Nebraska and U. Anyone in the world who wants to read it can do a full download, and think what they think. Bob got his Thinking Look, and paused. We were quiet for a moment, and then our minds went to exactly the same place at the same time: Japanese torture of American soldiers in the Pacific war.
The terrible, vicious barbarity of it. More than 40 years later, maybe it was still there, showing up in a poll. It was just our guess, but I think a good one. This is one of the reasons, only a practical one, torture is bad. It makes people lose respect for you. And when you come most deeply to terms with it, it can make you lose respect for you, too.
But America should never again do what is asserted and outlined in the report, which enumerates various incidents of what I believe must honestly be called torture. American policy should be to treat prisoners the way we would hope—with clear eyes, knowing it is a hope—our prisoners would be treated. Torture is not like us. It is almost childish to say it, yet children sometimes see obvious truths. Someone has to be the good guy. For a long time in the world that has been our role. You might say it bubbled up from our culture. They went with the legal guidance they had, propelled by the anxiety we all experienced.